Sunday, January 19, 2014

Adoption Education for Family and Friends

Preston and I have spent the last few months soaking in tons of adoption education.  We have been so grateful for all we have learned knowing it will make our adopted daughter's acclimation into our family way more successful.  Here are a few educational bits for our friends and family.

Do's & Dont's for Family and Friends

-assist with household tasks
-ask questions
-redirect to parents
-care for biological children
-look to the parents for guidance and interaction
-read and educate yourself on adoption

-Don't overstep boundaries, if unclear, ask
-Don't forget/ignore the other children in the family
-Don't be judgmental or critical
-Don't give advice unless asked for
-Don't compare to biological children
-Don't be offended
-Don't assume the child is grateful, excited or appreciative they've been adopted
-Don't make everything about the kids
-Don't expect to see us soon
-Don't meet the needs of the child (food, gifts); this is the role of the parents during the attachment phase
-Don't visit for long periods of time (if at all)
-Don't ask questions about the child's history
-Don't lavish attention/affection on the new child
-Don't maintain eye contact for too long
-Don't hold, hug or kiss
-Don't bombard the child
-Don't pursue the child
-Don't try to be the child's favorite
-Don't encourage the child to come to you and leave their parents

How others can show love and support without hurting attachment

-Give space to the new family while expressing your love through cards, emails, phone calls, etc.
-Support the decisions of the parents (ask what the boundaries are and be flexible)
-If the child begins gravitating towards you, you need to show support by stepping back and avoiding eye/physical contact
- Trust the parents and respect the attachment process, then communicate it to others
-Ask how attachment is progressing and how you can help at that time
-Always assume the "safest route"

We learned on Friday that our social worker has written our home study report and sent it to her supervisor.  Soon they will be able to send it off to the government for approval!

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